Local News

9th August

‘$50 food voucher not enough’

Low-income earners and Fijians on social welfare assistance are one of the hardest hit groups by the ongoing increase in food prices. Luse Rokobau from Nakorosule Village, Naitasiri, said the buying power from the $50...

‘Geographic disparities in proportion of stunted kids’

The prevalence of wasting or acute malnutrition among children from the richest households is two times more (eight per cent) than that of children from the poorest homes (four per cent), according to a survey conducted across the country in March and April last year. The Fiji Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2021 by the Fiji...

Not enough milk – Prices force mothers to give baby gruel made from cassava

Soaring milk product prices is forcing mothers and carers of infants and young children to resort to gruel made from cassava and other crops. Loraini Nailatikau, a mother of five children, said over the past few years the cost of nearly all food items had increased to a point that required careful budgeting. “Right now...

Response to opinion piece

A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Fiji says “any attempt by the Taiwan authorities to rely on the US to seek “Taiwan independence” is doomed to failure. The Chinese spokesperson made the statement in response to an opinion piece published in The Fiji Times on August 6, 2022, by Joseph Chow, a representative of...

88 cents non-circulation numismatic banknote

The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) yesterday started the issue of a Fiji 88 cents non-circulation numismatic banknote which predominantly features Tsai Shen, the Chinese god of wealth, and a money tree in Chinese customs. “The obverse design of the bank note features a hibiscus flower, the Coat of Arms of Fiji, the denominational value...

Violent discipline – Psychotherapist: Cycle of harsh reprimand needs to be broken

Police aggression, violent movies and the way some of our leaders behave could be contributing to the high percentage of violent discipline amongst Fijians and poor families in the country, says psychotherapist Selina Kuruleca. She said the violent way people disciplined their children could be because of the high stressors of everyday living and meeting...

Changes to Customs Act, A-G says

In a bid to address issues customers face with freight agents and cargo forwarders, there have been amendments made to the Customs Act, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. While outlining what the proposed changes would do, the A-G said a lot of people were becoming ad hoc agents and there was a need to license them...

Kuridrani: Worst is yet to come

Opposition parliamentarian Inosi Kuridrani advised Fijians to “be prepared”, warned “the worst was yet to come” and questioned Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s projected growth figures against a forecasted global decline. “The IMF (International Monetary Fund) Revised Global Forecast downwards to 3.2 per cent from the previous forecast of April,” the Opposition member said in Parliament....

All political parties ‘welcome’

Campaigning in the vanua o Tavuki will not be restricted to “only one political party” as the 2022 General Election looms, says turaga na Vunisalevu na Tui Tavuki Ratu Penioni Nacagilevu. The three districts of Tavuki, Ravitaki and Sanima come under the vanua o Tavuki which consists of 24 villages. “I’ve always reminded my people...

What’s happening today!

Bula vinaka everyone. Here is another edition of some basic information you may need to know for today. First, here is your weather forecast for today: Weather An easterly wind flow prevails over the group. Meanwhile, a trough of low pressure is expected to affect the country from Wednesday till Thursday. Forecast to midnight tomorrow...

8th August

The creative survivor

Dinesh Kumar epitomises the true meaning of creativity and perseverance. For the past 15 years, he has made a living by selling balloons in the city of Lautoka. While the sight of balloons on the streets may signal the arrival of a festive season, for Kumar, they are his source of livelihood. Kumar was born...

Samoan congregation

Samoans first migrated and settled in Levuka during the late 1890s to the 1900s and while some came to work on sugar cane plantations as part of the labour trade, others came through family connections. But what became an integral part in the lives of these individuals was their link to spirituality and a push...

Back in history: BMS student scoops oratory competition

Preserving and maintaining traditional literature and culture should be one of the priorities of the country, especially in this day and age where youths are very much unaware of their cultural traditions. These were the winning words of Milika Vitalina, who scooped the 1984 Fijian Language Oratory Competition. The Fiji Times reported on June 9,...

China’s healthcare reforms – A tool for domestic political elites

In 2009, the Chinese government unveiled its ambitious, complex healthcare reforms, pledging to provide affordable, equitable and effective health services for all by 2020. Integral to the reforms was strengthening the primary care system — that is, healthcare provided outside of a hospital — through stronger central directives on infrastructure standards and resource allocation. China’s...

Deal to open ‘capacity building opportunities’

Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) chief executive officer Christopher Cocker says “capacity building and regional networking opportunities are invaluable to professional growth and development and must be supported by regional agencies as the Pacific tries to recover from the severe impacts of COVID-19”. In a statement, he expressed the sentiments while signing a partnership agreement with...

Biogas an alternative for gas

Lautoka-based commercial piggery farmer Subhash Chandra’s household expense on purchasing cooking gas has significantly been reduced after the Ministry of Agriculture provided him with a biogas digester worth around $4000. Agriculture Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy, who was present during the handover, said a total of $250,000 has been allocated in the budget for biogas digesters...

Congolese national convicted of murder

The High Court at Suva found that drug induced psychosis did not impair Congolese national Kiala Henri Lusaka’s mental ability when he murdered his wife in July 2019. Judgment in the case of the murder of the deceased United Nations World Food Programme staff member Jennifer Ann Downes, at the hands of her husband in...

Hotel appoints cluster manager

Hilton Hotel Fiji has appointed Australian Carey Osborne as their new cluster general manager. While announcing the new appointment, the resort, in a statement, said Ms Osborne would handle all aspects of hotel operations for the Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa on Denarau Island and the Double Tree Resort by Hilton Hotel Fiji on...

Families enjoy ‘vuvale’ sports day

Families from all walks of life congregated at Australian High Commission Vuvale Sports Day at Albert Park in Suva. The event was organised to provide fun activities for children accompanied with live entertainment and music for families to relax and enjoy. Australian High Commission Chargé d’affaires Paul Wilson said the sport days was an opportunity...

Pacific Islands’ reps tour interior

Government representatives from neighbouring Pacific Island countries took a tour to the interior of Tailevu last week to witness firsthand the Risk Informed Development in practice in Fiji, through the demonstration of a village school access road project and later went to a beachfront EcoLodge project, on the coastal side of the province. Rural and...

Judge: Man who raped girl exploited her naivety

A 39-year-old man who raped a 15-year-old girl exploited her naivety, says High Court judge Justice Salesi Temo. He said this while sentencing the man to 11 years imprisonment for two counts of rape in an incident that occurred in September 2020. The court heard the man took the Year 8 student and her friends...

Court rejects plea for out of court settlement

The man charged in relation to the stabbing of another inside a vehicle outside a Suva supermarket on Tuesday asked the Suva Magistrate’s Court if the matter could be settled out of court. Bi Baodang was produced before Resident Magistrate Indula Ratnayake last Friday, charged with one count of attempted murder. Mr Baodang told the...

Drug farms exposed

Police have received information of other marine areas where marijuana cultivation is taking place. Chief Operations Officer ACP Abdul Khan said once this information was verified, the Fiji Police Force Waterpol Unit would deploy teams immediately. ACP Khan said a man in his 30s was arrested on Beqa Island after he was found with plants...

Revamped plan for sugarcane farming

Fiji National Provident Fund and the Sugar Cane Growers Fund have revamped their Smart Retirement Plan for members interested in buying a cane farm. This after FNPF and the Sugar Cane Growers Fund agreed to bring back the plan with a relaunch last Friday. SCGF chief executive officer Raj Sharma said members could potentially earn...

Minibus drivers welcome increase

Minibus drivers in the Western Division have welcomed the decision by the Fijian Consumer and Competition Commission to increase fares for six routes. Nadi driver Solomone Ratu said the fare increase was long overdue. “We had been asking for an increase for a while now,” he said. “It was overdue because the cost of fuel...

Portable mills for rice farmers

A group of farmers in the Western Division can now produce rice from their farms. This, after the Ministry of Agriculture donated portable rice mills to four farmers from Lautoka, Nadi and Ba. The machines were handed over to members of the Lautoka Rice Farmers Cluster, the Nabila Rice Farmers Cluster and Tunalia Rice Farmers...

MP rebuts rumours

Health Minister Ifereimi Waqainabete has reiterated his call to members of the public not to fall victims to rumormongers that were spreading lies about COVID-19 vaccination efforts of the Government. He made the comment while officiating at the commission of the newly refurbished Waivaka Nursing Station in Namosi which is expected to boost the services...

$85k grant for cafe

The famous stop-over site overlooking Savusavu bay in Cakaudrove, Vanua Levu will soon have a cafeteria for daily commuters. Headed by the Rotary Club of Savusavu, the project received a grant of $85,000 from the American Embassy in August, 2020. The club, in a statement, said work had started on the construction of the cafeteria...

3000 migration spots allocated to Pacific Islands

The 3000 annual permanent migration spots allocated to the Pacific Islands by Australia will be through a ballot process. Responding to queries from this newspaper, the Australian government said they would establish a new Pacific Engagement visa for citizens of the Pacific and Timor-Leste in July next year. “Those selected from the ballot will be...

Ratuva: Provide an alternative

Unless an alternative is provided, then criminal activities may not be the option which vulnerable youth would grab, says award-winning political sociologist and global interdisciplinary scholar Professor Steven Ratuva. Prof Ratuva, while speaking at the inaugural Pacific regional law enforcement conference in Nadi, said vulnerable youths who have a low sense of belonging in communities...

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